Large commodity funds, known as managed money, increased their collective net long live cattle futures position in the week ended Tuesday as producer types extended their net short position.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report showed that managed money’s new net long cattle position was 94,054 contracts, up 7,966, or 9.25%, from 86,088 the previous Tuesday. This was their largest net long position since the week ended Dec. 12 when it was 98,540 contracts.
At the same time, commercial traders, those producer types who primarily are hedgers, extended their net short live cattle position to 192,099 contracts from 185,268 the previous week. This was a gain of 6,831 contracts, or 3.69%, and their largest net short cattle position since the week ended Dec. 12 when it was 196,359 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new net long cattle position by adding 5,872 long positions, covering 2,094 short positions and unwinding 331 spread positions. This left them in control of 28.9% of total long open interest, 3.5% of total short open interest and 9.6% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders got to where they were Tuesday by adding 1,235 long positions and 8,066 short positions, leaving them representing 8.6% of total long open interest and 60.5% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest during the CFTC reporting week was up 5,291 contracts, or 1.45%, to 369,776 contracts from 364,485.
The CME Group also said the most-active Apr futures contract rose slightly on balance to close at $124.57 per cwt from $124.17 the previous Tuesday. However, in between, it fell to a low of $122.50 on Wednesday and rebounded to a two-month high of $127.20 on Monday.
FUNDS CONTINUE BUYING CORN
Meanwhile, managed money continued to lighten up on its net short CBOT corn position to its lowest point in 5 ½ months as commercial traders extended their net short position to its larges in 5 ½ months.
Managed money’s new net short corn position was 84,872 contracts, down 44,182, or 34.2%, from 129,054 the previous week. This was their smallest net short position since the week ended Aug. 29 when it was 63,532 contracts.
Commercial traders’ new net short corn position as of Tuesday was 275,941 contracts, up 23,961, or 9.51%, from 251,980 the previous Tuesday. This was their largest net short position since the week ended Aug. 22 when it was 276,019 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by adding 6,182 long positions, covering 38,000 short positions and unwinding 15,837 spread positions. This left them representing 14.2% of total long open interest, 19.1% of total short open interest and 8.4% of total spread open interest.
Commercials, though, added 9,999 long positions and 33,960 shorts, leaving them with 25.7% of long open interest and 41.8% of short open interest.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Only 126 head of fed cattle were sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange video auction at $126 per cwt.
Cash sales last week in the Plains were at $126.17 to $127 per cwt on a live basis, mostly $126, mostly steady to $1 from the previous week, and a steady $200 on a dressed basis.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $2.01 per cwt at $206.52, while select was off $1.05 at $202.74. The choice/select spread narrowed to $3.78 from $4.74 with 82 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $147.59 per cwt, down $0.43. This compares with Friday’s Mar settlement of $146.20, down $1.05.